In Brief

Sports shorts: Chelsea Women sign goal machine Sam Kerr and England coach Eddie Jones admits RWC final selection mistake

Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 13 November

1. Chelsea sign goal machine Kerr

FA Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea have pulled off a major transfer coup with the signing of Australian star Sam Kerr. 

Striker Kerr, 22, has penned a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Blues and will officially join the west London club in January.

The Matildas captain said: “The WSL is the best league in Europe. I want team success and I don’t want it to come easy. I feel Chelsea have been building something special over the years and I want to be a part of that - I want to lift some trophies.”

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes added: “I’ve been so impressed by her character, spirit and personality. I have no doubt that she’ll fit seamlessly into our already unbelievable dressing room. We will give her as much support as possible to be the biggest success she can be. 

“I am already blessed to coach a fantastic group of players but to add to that someone of Sam’s quality will make us all better. 

“That’s what coaching the best actually does, it makes it easier to achieve things. There is so much in her game that will rub off on our players and I hope that playing in our team there will be a lot of things that help take her to the next level. 

“We are talking about a person who is a wonderful team-player, she’s interested in team success and that sits really well here at Chelsea.”

2. Jones admits selection mistake for RWC final

England head coach Eddie Jones feels that he made a selection error for the Rugby World Cup final loss against South Africa. 

The Springboks won the final 32-12 and Jones said: “I haven’t watched it and I probably won’t watch it. But I know in my head where we could have probably made improvements.

“One area was that I probably made a mistake in terms of selection. That’s all with the benefit of hindsight, but I should probably have refreshed the team for the final. 

“Apart from that, it was one of those days. Sometimes they start the game brilliantly and things come off for them. We started the game a little bit off, lacking a tiny bit of energy because we’d played four big games in a row. That’s the reality of it - we just came unstuck.”

3. Time running out for Spurs boss Poch

The Daily Telegraph reports that Mauricio Pochettino is “heading towards the point of no return” at Tottenham Hotspur. 

Last weekend’s 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United has left Spurs 14th in the Premier League table and the Telegraph says that the London derby against West Ham United on 23 November is now rated as make or break for Tottenham’s campaign. 

4. Kaepernick set for NFL workout

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will take part in a private workout arranged by the NFL. The 32-year-old has been without a team since 2016 after leading the protests against racial injustice in the United States. 

The workout in Atlanta will be held on Saturday and all 32 teams have been invited to attend. He said: “I’ve been in shape and ready for this for three years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs.”

5. West Indies’s Pooran banned for ball tampering

West Indies cricketer Nicholas Pooran will miss his country’s next four Twenty20 international matches after admitting he changed the condition of the ball in the third one-day win over Afghanistan.

He said: “I recognise that I made an extreme error in judgement and I fully accept the ICC penalty. I want to assure everyone that this is an isolated incident and it will not be repeated.”

6. Spanish star Villa to retire 

Spain legend David Villa has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the Japanese season.

The 37-year-old striker, who currently plays in the J1 League for Vissel Kobe, is Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer and won the 2010 Fifa World Cup and Uefa Euro 2008 with his country. He also lifted the 2011 Uefa Champions League trophy with Barcelona.

7. Red Bull retain Albon for 2020

Red Bull Racing have announced that Alex Albon will continue as Max Verstappen’s team-mate next season. After the summer break Albon replaced Pierre Gasly in Red Bull’s senior team, with Gasly switching to Toro Rosso. 

Team principal Christian Horner said: “Alex has performed extremely well since his debut with the team in Belgium and his results - seven finishes in the top six - speak for themselves. 

“It’s extremely hard to deny that level of consistency and in tandem with a growing reputation as a tenacious, fiercely committed racer, Alex has proved that he fully deserves to continue his progress with Red Bull Racing. 

“There is plenty of potential still to unlock and we look forward to seeing Alex alongside Max in 2020.”

F1: Max Verstappen is getting ‘a bit bored’ by Lewis Hamilton’s success 

8. Bartomeu has ‘no doubts’ about Messi’s future 

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Lionel Messi has no intention of leaving Barcelona at the end of this season. The Argentine won’t trigger the exit clause in his contract next June and will wait until next season to negotiate a renewal. 

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu wants the 32-year-old to finish his career at the Camp Nou. He said: “Surely it will be the wish of all parties, if Messi feels strong and ambitious, to extend this contract indefinitely. 

“There is no doubt that he is still young, still strong and he is still ambitious. So Leo will still play with us for the next two, three, four or five years. I have no doubts about that.”

9. Man City plan £100m January spending spree

Manchester City are set for a £100m spending spree in the January transfer window as they try to keep pace with Liverpool in the Premier League title race. 

Trailing the Reds by nine points, and still smarting from Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Anfield, the Sky Blues are determined to make a fight of it in the second half of the season. 

The Daily Mirror claims that Pep Guardiola’s decision not to replace Vincent Kompany has “backfired spectacularly” and the City boss is desperate to shore up his defence in the new year.

10. Three Lions work through their ‘family feud’

England head coach Gareth Southgate is spreading the love among his squad as he looks to put Monday’s canteen clash between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez behind him.

Sterling has been dropped from the squad for tomorrow’s Euro 2020 qualifer against Montenegro after the Manchester City striker admitted that “emotions got the better of me”. 

Asked about how he was dealing with the incident, Southgate told reporters: “I love all of my players. We are like a family. The important thing is for a family to communicate and work through problems.”

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